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Libya 86, America 77, Minnesota 66, Us 55, U.s. 39, United States 34, Benghazi 25, Chris Stevens 17, Stevens 17, Egypt 16, Madam 13, Washington 11, Mr. Dreier 11, Clinton 11, Sean Smith 8, Texas 8, Romney 7, Sandra 6, Cairo 6, Massachusetts 6,
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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News  News/Business. Live  
   coverage of House proceedings.  

    September 12, 2012
    10:00 - 12:59pm EDT  

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if oil prices go higher, you will see -- there are significant policy differences. one is the wind reduction tax credit. companies need that to continue development of that industry. the old administration has talked about extending it permanently. -- the administration has talked about sending a permanent. mitt romney does not support it, saying companies should be able to stand on their own. governor romney, in august, laid out his vision, energy 2020, energy independence for the u.s., relies largely on increasing u.s. production. host: jim snyder, energy reporter on bloomberg news. thanks so much for being with us. we will go to the house floor in just a moment, but when news and
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programming note, president obama will make a statement at about 10:35 this morning, joined by secretary clinton in the rose garden, commenting. we will be watching that, and we will find out more where that we -- you can find out more on c- span.org. let's go to the house now. but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, madam speaker. the meeting with hundreds of constituents and dozens of small businesses this summer, one theme emerges repeatedly -- the price that american families and small business continue to pay for the near collapse of our economy. earlier this year, new examples emerged of manipulation that was harmful. in some cases potentially
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illegal by wall street, new york, and fleet street in london. financial interests continue their assault on even modest reforms in the dodd-frank financial legislation protections for consumers and for the financial system itself. now, clearly elements are a little overly complex and not perfect, but in part that's the result of aggressive action from the industry itself assaulting the regulatory process. on the campaign trail, governor romney and his runningmate argued for less protection and a return to largely self-regulation of banks that nearly brought the global economy to its knees. at the same time the republican party's response to the challenges of the mountain of student debt is first to reduce the funding for pell grants that help make college more affordable for low-income students and then they would help fewer student borrowers but help more bankers by giving
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the lending business back to the private sector backed by a government guarantee, by the way, hardly a free market solution. governor romney famously pointed out if this doesn't work for you, you can always borrow from your parents. i think most people, not just republicans or democrats, independents, believe that's not the solution. it's more of the problem, even for those who students -- students whose parents may be able to help them. but we also might inject a little more competition into the financial marketplace. now, for millions of americans, a little competition to the big banks comes from credit unions who are more on the scale of a
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community bank. most are small to medium sized, very local and nonprofit with volunteer membership board of directors. that nonprofit status is important. they not only don't pay taxes, they're not paying dividends to stockholders or multimillion dollar bonuses to c.e.o.'s. they use that advantage to lower cost and improve service. but credit unions are currently prohibited from lending more than 12.25% of their assets to business. now, legislation has been proposed to raise this lending cap to a little more of a quarter of the assets that would be ideal for small business lending. it wasn't the credit unions on main street that almost brought the economy to its knees. it was wall street gamblers and too often cheaters in the financial sector. they were skirting the law and in some cases breaking it.
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maybe it's time that we give small businesses a boost by giving commercial banks a little competition. i hope my colleagues will not just sponsor h.r. 1418, the small business lending enhancement act of 2011, but also be an advocate. it will be a strong signal that we truly want competition in the financial arena, that actions have consequences and small and emerging businesses are our priority. let's give small business more choices for financing they need and let's help credit unions get more capacity to meet that need. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: thank you, madam speaker. yesterday was the 11th anniversary of the attack on america from 9/11 in 2001 where americans were killed and it was an act of terrorism.
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but yesterday americans were attacked again. in two attacks, in egypt and in libya. apparentry terrorists attacking us again on 9/11. the embassy in egypt was stormed. the american flag was brought down and a black flag was raised by those who came into the compound. in libya, the consulate was attacked, set afire and our ambassador to libya, chris stevens, was murdered. and according to the bbc hi body was brought through the streets in benghazi. the groups are individuals that committed these acts must be found. there's no evidence yet there was any act by either one of these two governments but by individuals or even by groups. in libya, al qaeda cousins, as i call them, claims
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responsibility for the murder of our u.s. ambassador. it's no coincidence that these two attacks occurred nearly at the same time and they both occurred on the anniversary of 9/11. immediately, the attackers blamed a movie that was produced as the reason, an excuse, a justification for murdering. it's never the fault of a movie. it's never the fault of the united states. it's never the fault of western culture that people are murdered in the name of somebody else's religion. it's the responsibility and it's the fault and people to be held accountable are the ones who committed these specific acts of terror against the united states. in the past, the united states has always held and went after those responsible for this time of conduct. in 1998 when the kenyan embassy was attacked and americans were killed, we responded. of course we responded in 9/11.
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we responded after the first world trade center bombing. in 1996 when 19 american soldiers were murdered in saudi arabia we responded. in fact, president bill clinton said this -- the cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished. we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage to pursue them and to punish them. and after 9/11, president bush made this comment -- the search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. i've directed the full resources of our intelligent law enforcement agencies to find those responsible and bring them to justice. madam speaker, the united states must always respond to terrorists, and we must let them be reminded again and again we will respond in appropriate manner as we did in 9/11. we must respond today and we must respond tomorrow. i'm encouraged that the president will soon address the nation on what our response will be. we must hold those personally accountable because we must let
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people understand that they need to leave us alone. that is what that message needs to be. we must have justice in this terrorist attack by these individuals against america because, madam speaker, justice is what we do in america and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i rise today to salute the little league 12-year-old all-stars from my hometown of petaluma, california. i salute them for their amazing run in the 2012 little league world series. i couldn't be prouder of the way they represented our community and themselves. even though they fell short of the championship they distinguished themselves as one of this year's best youth baseball teams finishing second
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in the country and third in the world. even in their final loss to tennessee, they showed fierce determination, rallying for a 10-run comeback to force extra innings. each and every player contributed to the effort. bradley smith led the way with an astounding .636 batting average, a tournament leaving 14 hits, a record breaking 16 doubles and 11 r.b.i.'s as well as great fielding and pitching. hance smith hit .429 leading the team with four home runs and knocking more home runs, 12, than any player in the tournament. danny hit .348 with a walk-off home run against new jersey on top of his outstanding pitching. coal batted .333 with clutch hitting and dazzling third base defense that actually reminded
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many of brooks robinson. logan douglas who provided great all-around leadership and top-notch relief pitching also had a .318 batting average and his 11 runs scored were the second highest in the tournament. catchers austin and james provided perfect handling of the pitching staff with j.l. contributing hits and austin scoring eight runs in eight at-bats. dillon, blake and kempton all had clutch performances,. blake's big hit to spark the rally against new jersey and dillon's overall solid work in the field, on the mound and at-bat. porter slate scored eight runs out of the leadoff spot while
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having stellar performance at second base. in his dominant pitching performance against texas gave the team a huge lift. andrew white provided outstanding relief pitching. not just in the little league world series but throughout district 35 and regional play. madam speaker, not enough can be said about the coaching staff. manager eric smith, trevor tomei and mike slate, their commitment to the team and to the families was never short of remarkable. they didn't just teach the boys skills and fundamentals, they instilled in them poise, determination and drive. the petaluma national league all-stars are talented ballplayers, but they also succeed because of grit, hustle and desire. they reveal themselves to be young men of maturity and character. they showed sportsmanship in
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victory and defeat. they were models of teamwork and discipline, qualities that will serve them well throughout their lives. these boys exemplified what is best about youth sports. being true to the mission and values of little league baseball. their peril formans on and off the field -- their performance on and off the field is a testament to their parents, teachers, coaches and their individual character. these boys are unquestionably champions. they are tomorrow's leaders and they give confidence for our country's future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: madam speaker, thank you very much. yesterday was a remembrance of a tragedy beyond belief that happened to america on 9/11. there's another tragedy taking place but it happens to be in afghanistan. the tragedy is our young men and women are going there to
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give their life for a corrupt leader and a policy that will never change afghanistan. during the august break, i had the privilege, like most members of congress, to be in my district, to speak to numerous civics clubs and two of the clubs i spoke to were our retired military groups, one being the american legion. every time i talked about the failed policy in afghanistan and the need to bring our troops home, i got applause, and i'm not a great speaker. but our military's done everything that it can do. i have beside me three marines from my district, camp lejeune, were in afghanistan training afghans to be policemen, and one of the trainees turned around and shot and killed three marines. this isn't the first time it's happened and it's not the first time that i lost marines from
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the third district of north carolina. but the person they were training was an afghan officer in the police force. it is an absolutely unwinnable situation. the purpose that mr. bush, the former president, said we're going to afghanistan is to get bin laden. well, he is dead. . to disperse al qaeda, it is dispersed. on the 20th, which is next thursday, we are going to hold a bipartisan news conference with the author of the book called "funding the enemy." by douglas wissing. who spent a number of years embedded with our military in afghanistan. and he has seen the tragedy of the moppy going to afghanistan ending up in the covers --
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coffers of the taliban to buy weapons to kill our young men and women. if i could advise mr. romney and mr. obama, i would say listen to the american people on our policy in afghanistan. because the american people want our troops home. i hear both sides complaining about the debt, the cliff, sequestration, and all these things and yet we are spending $10 billion a month in afghanistan. as funding the enemy says in that book, we can't even account for most of it. yet we are going to cut programs here for children and senior citizens, but, no, we don't even debate afghanistan on the floor of the house. that is the tragedy. that is the tragedy. just a few of us on both sides have been speaking out constantly on the failed policy in afghanistan. the former commandant who has been my advisor for three years,
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not at liberty to say his name for the record, he has said to me, what do we say to the mother, the father, the wife, of the last marine or soldier killed to support a corrupt government and a corrupt leader in a war that cannot be won? congress needs to awaken to the fact that we need to bring our troops home in 2013. the spring of 2013 and not the end of 2014. madam speaker, next week i will go to walter reed. i will visit the wounded. from afghanistan. some from iraq. and i will leave with a heavy heart because i will see the broken bodies, i will see the young men and some women that have lost legs, other parts of
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their bodies, some paralyzed from the waste down, some with burned faces, and yet the congress sleeps through this war. i ask my friends on both sides, when we get back in november, let's pass a resolution saying that we need to bring our troops home in 2013. madam speaker, before closing i have signed over 10,855 letters to families in america and extended families because of my weakness and my mistake on iraq. a war that never had to be fought. look at iraq today. it's falling apart. it is time for us to stop trying to build empires and to rebuild america. i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: madam speaker, republicans have pursued an obstructionist agenda since taking control of this body. seemingly to risking harm to our economy for political gain. the refusal of the house republicans to even consider compromise has resulted in the 112th congress becoming among the least productive congresses ever. the 112th congress is a congress when it comes to measured productivity. consider the most simple metric. the number of laws passed per congress. the legislative output of this congress a mere 173 public laws passed, is a pittance when compared to the 900 public laws passed by what was called the do-nothing congress of the truman era, or the 333 public
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laws passed in the era of divided government in the 104th congress. or consider one of the most fundamental constitutional responsibilities, funding the government, once again the 112th congress distinguishes itself of shear incompetence having managed to pass zero appropriations bills. the 112th congress looks even worse when directly compared to the democratic-led 111th congress which boasted a productivity level on legislative records during the era of franklin delano roosevelt and johnson in the 1930's and 1960's respectively. the landmark legislation enacted in the two year period 2009 and 2010. to put meager output of this current congress to shame. further, beyond these big three at least a dozen bills were passed during that time period,
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including legislation addressing fair pay, student loans, consumer protection, national service, stem cell research, and food safety. the american people are tired of business as usual. they are tired of congress waiting until the last possible moment to avert yet another disaster. and they are certainly tired of this house returning from a 37-day summer vacation only to hold a couple of votes this week before rushing out of town again next week leaving in their wake a sea of critical work that remains undone. our country faces serious, daunting challenges that demand action now, which is why i advocated canceling the august recess, the house now has an opportunity to take decisive action in the coming days on at least two major deadline issues facing congress, passing a five-year farm bill and enacting comprehensive postal reform. despite the 112th being among the least productive and most
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dysfunctional in history, the senate, not known for its speed, has managed to engage in constructive cooperation and addresses both these issues in overwhelmingly bipartisan manner. on two of the most urgent matters facing this congress, the senate has exposed the extremeness of this house republican majority. two republicans, a democrat and independent, developed the 21st century postal service act of 2012. which passed the senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. on the vital five-year re-authorization of the farm bill has done it again, developed a farm bill, the agriculture reform and food and jobs act of 2012, and also passed it with a bipartisan supermajority. compromise is at the heart of these bipartisan measures, which are far from perfect and contain provisions i would oppose. however both bills contain provisions vital to saving the postal service, safeguarding the health of american agricultural
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industry, and providing critical safety net for american families. in my perfect world we would pass my reform of the postal service for the 21st century act. and i'm sure in the house republicans' perfect world would pass their house postal reform act of 2011. but in the real world i do not believe either of our constituents sent us here to stubbornly fight for the partisan perfect at the expense of the american good. if republican leadership are willing to compromise on behalf of the american people, they will take up and pass the bipartisan bill s. 1679 and s. 3240, this week or next. i realize i'm appearing naive in proposing compromise by taking up and passing senate bills, but my own experience with my predecessor in the 11th district of virginia gives me hope. as many of my colleagues are aware, even though former
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congressman tom davis is a republican and i'm a democrat, we get together and we like to say we belong to the same political party, the party of getting things done. we have agreed to local government and i appreciate his generosity in working with me in the transition to the 111th congress. i recall one extended transition meeting at a local denny's we were talking, there was a waitress going back and forth. she thought she would recognize us. say hello. in fact she said you need to move on. i need that table. that's where the american people are. they want us to move on get and our business done so they can get on with theirs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from south dakota, mrs. noem, for five minutes. mrs. noem: thank you, madam speaker. today i want to bring to the attention of my colleagues something that is of utmost importance to this country and to our food supply and this
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nation's farmers and ranchers. it's the importance of getting a farm bill done. growing up in a farm in south dakota and farming for years with my family, i certainly recognize how vital agriculture industry is. our producers invest in seed and fertilizer, they put it in the dirt, and they hope that that fall they have the opportunity to come back and harvest something that will provide for their family and provide food for this country and for this nation. the crops that are grown are relied upon to fulfill the need we have in this country and across the world. farming is risky, but because growing our food is in the interest of our national security, we provide a safety net that keeps our farmers on the land in good times and in bad times. as you can see from these maps that i have here with me today, we are suffering through one of those tough times right now. farmers can't control mother nature. our farmers are facing one of the worst droughts we have seen in decades. you just have to talk to a
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veteran farmer today to say they haven't seen an instance like this since probably the 1930's where we had such widespread, long-standing drought they are suffering through. it has a real impact on folks in rural america and the rest of america relies on that food to feed their families. i want my colleagues to get a picture of just how important the farm bill is to this country and to people in the real world. while it may be easy to ignore the drought if you are in washington, d.c., or other parts of the country, when i go home every weekend and when i was home and traveling all across our state throughout august, it was everywhere around me. just yesterday i had the chance to sit down with a couple of producers from south dakota, they were here from hauten, south dakota, and it was evident to me when i visited with them their concern was more for the next generation than for getting through a couple tough days right now. they spoke of their sons, the love they had for their land, and the responsibility that they feel in feeding this country and making sure that we have a future where the united states can grow its own food to provide
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for its own people. they wrote me a letter about what the farm bill means to them and i wanted to read part of that letter to you. i know you share our feelings on the importance of the bill. it's not only necessary to us now, but also for our three sons who want to continue farming. which has been in our family for four generations. we are so thankful and we are proud that they want to return to the farm and we want to do all that we can to provide for them the same opportunities that we have had. the crop insurance portion of the farm bill has truly helped us in the past as we struggled through wet conditions over parts of the last 20 years. because of excess moisture there have been years we have about able to plant less than half of the acres of our total cropland. now the tables have turned. and we are experiencing drought conditions in some areas of south dakota and we will again be relying on crop insurance. it's so important to our family farming operations as a business. it's a lot -- allowed us to say in business -- stay in business.
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the safety net this farm bill would provide is crucial not only to rural farmers like us but our state and country as a whole. brent and bob and other producers across america are in town this week. they are asking this house to take action on a farm bill, to give them the certainty that they need to have confidence to plant next year's crop. it will support both rural america but also every single family that's out there buying groceries today. later this morning i'm going to be joining them at a rally that's called the farm bill now rally. and i'll be asking my colleagues to take action. to pass a farm bill. we need to get that farm bill done to know what the policies are going to be in the next five years. it's right for our producers, it's right for our ranchers and farmers, it's right for this country, and for every family out there who is wanting to put food on the table that they can afford through these tough times. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. dreier, for five minutes. mr. dreier: thank you very much, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dreier: madam speaker, back in 2009 my good friend and the co-chair of the house democracy partnership, david price of north carolina, and i had the opportunity to visit former general and at that time u.s. ambassador carl eikenberry. ambassador to afghanistan. we were at the ambassador's residence in kabul and i was struck with the same that -- statement that was made. negotiation. to men and women in uniform. those men and women who served in our nation's armed forces
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around the world. but too rarely do we extend our appreciation to the men and women who represent the united states of america in the foreign service. as diplomats around the world. . and general eikenberry encouraged us to do that and mr. price and i have consistently done that in the visits of the house democracy partnership to the 17 con2riss with which we partnered over the past seven years. . mr. price and i were leading a delegation to afghanistan and we recounted that story to our great diplomat, ryan crocker, u.s. ambassador to afghanistan and ambassador crocker, when we shared the story with him, reminded us that more u.s. ambassadors have been killed
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since the vietnam war than generals or admirals. we know that down at the harry s. truman building there is a plaque that list the name of the 231 u.s. diplomats who have been killed since 1780. madam speaker, i have to say that the news that we have of the tragic death of ambassador chris stevens in benghazi, the u.s. consulate in libya, is very sad news for all of us. now the upheaval in the arab world has brought about many great things for the first time in millennia, there have been individuals who have been able to participate in elections. and make decisions. but then we get the sad and tragic news that ambassador stevens and, according to the early reports, two marines, maybe another foreign officer
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was killed in this tragic attack and i'd like to say that we have spent time there. we were just in libya, mr. price and i, before ambassador stevens arrived and libya has held out great promise. i'm determined, as i know mr. price is, to ensure that the promise we saw several weeks ago in libya will not be shaurd by the tragic -- shattered by the tragic death of ambassador stevens. madam speaker, i'm pleased to be joined by my dear friend and colleague, mr. price, and i'd like to yield to him at this point. mr. price: i thank my colleague for yielding. mr. dreier and i have partnered for many years and the work of the house democracy partnership which we and many others in this body believe in very deeply, that we need to be good colleagues, not just nationally but internationally and we need to reach out in ways that can strengthen democracy,
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strengthen institutions in countries that are friends of our country and we can help bring those parliaments along. that's exactly why we visited libya back in the spring. a delegation led by mr. dreier. we were there a few weeks before ambassador stevens arrived and i think it's fair to say that we were struck by the promise of libya. of course they've had 42 years of dictatorial rule. the country has been liberated. there's still major challenges. obviously security challenges as we are learning in a tragic way today, but the country is gradually being secured. elections have been held and parliamentary elections are on the way. so we have great hope for libya and we will be a friend to libya. we have been and we will be a friend to libya and bringing forward the promise of the arab spring. but our purpose here today so
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to mark this tragic loss. the sixth i believe, ambassador in u.s. history to be killed in the line of duty. our personnel is the best that the u.s. can offer. the work that they're doing is work that's in the national interest and work that is very, very valuable to libya and to us and this horrible tragedy is one that we want to mark in this house here today. mr. dreier: madam speaker, if i may simply extend condolences to the loved ones of ambassador stevens and to say that we need to ensure that those responsible for this tragic death are brought to justice and we need to do everything we can to continue to encourage of the development of the rule of law, self-determination, political pluralism and as mr. price has said, the development
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of democratic institutions around the world. it's a universal right and the united states of america is the single best model for that. so our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of ambassador stevens and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, for five minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, madam speaker. first i want to of course associate myself in the remarks of mr. price and mr. dreier who have done such terrific work in the spread of democracy but to lament the tragic loss of life and the courage displayed by our men and women in our foreign service and who are deployed abroad to represent the united states, its democracy and its principles. madam speaker, i regretfully rise, however, to talk about another unhappy subject.
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our fiscal house is burning and in washington we continue to play and fiddle. we have another eight, perhaps 13 days left, less than that. i don't know whether we're going to be here in august -- in october but i do know we are going to be here for a short time this week frankly doing message bills. the middle class tax cut which passed the senate lays fallow somewhere, not brought to this floor. to assure that our middle-class citizens understand they weren't going to get a tax cut on january 1, give them confidence, give our economy confidence to help grow our economy. we have not ensured our doctors that the payments for medicare services to patients will in fact be available. we have not taken substantive
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action to set aside the sequester with a balanced plan. there will be a bill on sequester and that will be largely opposed on our side of the aisle because it does not provide for balance. it simply says set aside the sequester which is the direct result of the republican policies. in fact, the republicans have offered two bills on the floor which say that sequester is the option of choice if you don't meet certain numbers. they did that in their cut, cap and balance bill which was enforced, how, through sequestration. we understand that sequestration is an irrational act. why is it an irrational act? it's because if you have a food budget and a movie budget at home and we'll take finances that week, that month, that
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year. you don't cut your food budget exactly the same as you cut your movie budget. you say we are going to forgo a movie and make sure we have healthy food on the table. that's what we ought to do. we ought to have a strategic way and a balanced way to get this deficit that is out of control and needs to be handled under control. and the best way to turn off the sequester is a balanced plan. but what we will see offered on this floor is not a balanced plan but a plan which says, do it our way or no way. now, very frankly that's been the history of this congress. i've served in 16 congresses. this is the least productive congress in which i have served. now, that view is shared by two scholars, thomas mann and another who said, we've been studying politics in washington for more than 40 years and we
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have not seen them, meaning the congress of the united states, as dysfunctional. the american public share that view, of course, and our poll numbers reflect it, properly so. mr. mann and mr. orenstein go on, we criticize both parties. we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the republican party. the g.o.p., they went on to say, has become an insurgent outlier, unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science and dismissive of the legitimacy of the political opposition and unwilling to compromise. the senate's passed a farm bill. senate passed a farm bill which would help farmers threatened by drought. as a matter of fact, their own committee has reported out a farm bill. but that farm bill has not been brought to the floor because apparently the majority of
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republicans aren't for a farm bill. so even their own bill is not brought to the bill. much less a bipartisan passed farm bill passed in the senate which could get a significant number of democratic votes, not because we believe that's exactly what we want but we believe it's a compromise that will work for america and america's farmers. ladies and gentlemen, madam speaker, the american public ought to know that in the next few days we are not going to be doing much of anything. not on the jobs for americans, not on the fiscal cliff that confronts us, not on farm bills, not on the violence against women act which also passed the united states senate in a bipartisan overwhelming fashion. no, we fiddle. we fiddle while the fiscal fires burn. i would urge my colleagues on
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both sides of the aisle, my democratic colleagues and my republican colleagues. i don't think we're going to get anything done before november 6. i think it's going to be politics, politics as usual. the american public and america will suffer for that. but i think that's what's going to happen. but i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. madam speaker, i would urge the american people to demand of us that we not perceive the lame-duck session as simply a time to further fiddle. it ought to be a time, my colleagues, when we act, we come together, we adopt a balanced fair plan to get the fiscal house of america in order, to put ourselves on a fiscally sustainable path that is credible, that people believe in so that the rating agencies which are now talking
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about perhaps downgrading the united states of america, the most credit-worthy nation on earth. why? not because we don't have the resources to solve our fiscal problems but because they do not perceive we have the political will and willingness to do so or the courage. my colleagues, americans expect more of us. we ought to expect more of ourselves. we have an obligation, a responsibility. we swore an oath to protect and defend, not only the constitution but the well fair of this country -- welfare of this country. putting our country on a sustainable path is what we need. i don't think we'll do so before november 6. i hope when we come back the second week of november will pledge ourselves to work together as americans, not as democrats, not as republicans, not as conservatives, not as
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liberals or moderates but as americans understanding that the only way every commission that's reported has said we're going to get our house in order is to come together and do so in a balanced way. and yes, ladies and gentlemen, that means making sure that we deal with revenues. we pay for what we buy. that's what revenues are about. we pay for what we buy. and then we deal with the spiraling cost of health care. everybody's talked about that. president clinton talked about that. paul ryan talks about that. we have to do it. but we could keep the guarantee of medicare. we could keep the guarantee of social security in the process while getting our fiscal house in order on the entitlement side. ladies and gentlemen of this house, we owe it to the american people. the american people expect us to act responsibly. we are fiddling while the fiscal house of america burns.
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let us summon the courage, the judgment and the personal responsibility each one of us has that when we return here after the election and hopefully the politics is behind us, those 30-second, 60-second ads which misinterpret, misinform and disseveral are behind us and -- disemble are behind us and we are prepared to exercise the courage and judgment to put our country on a fiscally steapable path that is credible. not only will rating agencies believe in it, our citizens will believe in it, our businesses will believe in it and the international commount will as well. i thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. olson, for five minutes. .
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mr. olson: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to honor a true american hero, the kneel armstrong, a space pioneer who influenced world history. i can still remember wearing my most prized possession, a blue fly me to the moon t-shirt. with the apollo insignia on it. i remember the feeling of seeing those great images of kneel on the sea of tranquility and as he put his left foot down i saw his famous one-step for man, one giant leap for mankind, quote. that historic moment changed america forever and the world stays with us. and the kneel armstrong's -- neil armstrong's quiet heroism catapulted america to be a great leader. his exceptionalism inspired
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generations of young people to take up science and space exploration. in the 43 years since his moon mission, armstrong said america should continue to explore new worlds. upon learning the obama administration had canceled nasa's plans to return to the moon, neil armstrong, a very private man, became a vocal critic of this failure and willingness to allow other nations to surpass america's space leadership. the human space exploration probe he told congress last fall is embarrassing and unacceptable. one of the highlights of my life will always be shaking the hand of my childhood hero. neil and i united in opposition to president obama's plan to cancel the constellation program and diminish the priority of
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human space flight in his 2010 budget and national space policy doctrine. it was humbling to work with mr. armstrong and several other apollo astronauts to fight to restore strong nasa budget and develop a comprehensive human space exploration program worthy of america's greatness as explorers. america needs a clear mission worthy of our nation's continued investment to regain our lead role and remain the dominant human space country in the world. our nation suffered a great loss with neil armstrong's passing. but his courage and commitment to greatness will live on the next generation of explorers to come. for this my time on this planet, i will continue to honor his contributions to american
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exceptionalism and legacy by pushing for a strong space exploration program that will take america to the moon, to mars, and beyond. my thoughts and prayers are with neil armstrong's family and the entire nasa family as we cope with this tremendous loss. america mourns with you. as we remember neil's amazing journey, it's captured best by advice given by neil's lucky brothers, who spoke to a group of students at a middle school in my hometown of sugarland, texas. gene told the kids always shoot for the moon. because you'll see the stars. neil armstrong gave us the moon so we can look to the heavens and see the stars. thank you, neil. god bless.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from mississippi, mr. nunnelee, for five minutes. mr. nunnelee: thank you, madam speaker. this week the congressional coalition on adoption is recognizing the individuals and families from around the country who have enriched the lives of children through foster care and adoption. i rise this morning to share the story of a couple whose dedicated their lives to providing not just a home for children but a family. a couple married in their teens and over the next 14 years had four children born into their family. when they married, pat was working in a low-paying manufacturing job. but he soon entered the
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profession of life insurance sales. he possessed a good personality, strong work ethic, and because of that he was natural for the business. and his career advanced quickly. both in income and in prestige. sandra had a love of infants. and a desire to be a nurse. however she decided to forgo her nursing education and her career in order to get married and then raise a family. later she did enter nursing school. in fact she graduate interested nursing school the same year her oldest child graduate interested high school. by 1980 they were in their mid 40's and they were enjoying the fruits of their labors together. pat had become vice president of one of the largest life insurance companies in his state. sandra was enjoying the love of her life, taking care of newborn
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babies as an intensive care nurse. they were enjoying a standard of living that neither of them had ever thought possible. . in addition, empty northwest -- nest was in sight. of two children were in college and two others were not far behind. in short life was good. they worked hard and nearing their stage of life when they could really begin to enjoy it. but any plans they may have made changed in november of 1980 when a little girl was born prematurely. that month while america was preparing to celebrate thanksgiving, we were watching the peaceful transition of power begin in the white house, we were watching an international hostage crisis, and when the world is watching presidents and ayatollahs, who cares what a little premature girl is born. thank god somebody did.
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this little girl was born with numerous health problems and the pediatrician's quick diagnosis was that this infant wouldn't live through the night. the medical staff should make her short time on earth as peaceful as possible. and at the conclusion of the shift, sandra left her patient with the belief that this little girl would not be alive when she got back to work the next morning. much to her surprise when she arrived the next morning for work the little girl was still alive. she proved to have a strong will to live. but she had been abandoned by her parents. after three months in the intensive care unit, her pediatrician observed to sandra one day, we have done miracles for this child but the one thing we have not been able to give her is a home. she's never had anyone to hold her, to rock her, or to sing to her. over the next few days pat and sandra became foster parents. as she left her job and the
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child entered their home. child number five. three years later, sunday lunch was interrupted by a desperate knock at the door. sandra had taken a leave of absence from the job to take care of this little girl and she volunteered to offer childcare to a single mom from the hospital where she worked. that young woman was having great difficulty of coping with the many demands of a sing many mom she desperately asked, miss nunnelee, would you please take my baby, thinking there must be some temporary crisis, the nunnelees replied, we'll be glad to take care of your child for a couple days. and the young mom responded, i don't want you to take it for a couple days. i want you to take him forever. child number six. four years after that another desperate contact, this one a phone call from county department of human services, an infant boy had been born with very severe heart problems. the doctor's prognosis was he
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wasn't wouldn't live beyond age 10 or 12. his parents didn't want to keep such a sick child there. were no available foster parents with medical expertise or willingness to adopt such a child in that condition and the desperate social worker said you have done more than any family should be asked to do, but there's nobody else. child number seven. that child lived more than a decade beyond the doctor's initial prognosis and while he still had some health problems he's recently completed school and he's moved out on his own. and for the first time in 54 years pat and sandra nunnelee don't have a child in their home. holidays are filled with the noise of seven children and their spouses and several grandchildren. these are true american heroes. their children, grandchildren call them mimi and pap daddy. their friends call them pat and
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sandra, their six, my six brothers and sisters, and i are proud to call them mom and dad. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from nebraska, mr. for then berry, for five minutes. -- fortenberry, for five minutes. mr. fortenberry: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fortenberry: madam chair, last year an intense debate was under way in congress as to how to respond to the turmoil in libya. the imminent slaughter of the people of benghazi by former dictator gaddafi led the united states to sustain a nato-led coalition to stop the blood shed. now our ambassador to libya, chris stevens, is dead. killed by the very people we went there to save. americans can tolerate
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infrattude, americans can tolerate insult, but americans cannot tolerate the senseless killing of the official representative of our country and three other diplomatic personnel. the governing structures of libya must respond in the strongest way. they should publicly state their condemnation and commitment to restoring order. tellcy is not an election -- democracy is not an election, it is the understanding of the protection of the inherent dignity and rights of each persons supported by the structur that bring about the just rule of law. we hopor ambassador stevens, foreign service officer sean smith, and two others whose names i do not yet have for their heroic service. may they rest in peace. similarly in cairo, egypt, the storming of our embassy represents an attack on america. by the new orleans of
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international law -- norms of international law, custom and tradition, the scaling of the walls of our embassy severely threatens america's long-standing relationship with egypt. so fruitfully solidified after the peace accords in the middle east in the 1970's. president morsey must decide will his government tolerate chaos and violence? will he abandon egypt's leading role for stabet in the middle east? will he use democracy for consolidation of power while rejecting its central tenets? the responsibility of president morsey is also to speak swiftly and state clearly that the egyptian government duly elected is committed to its international responsibility and the deeper responsibilities of self-government. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house a number of amendments will be offered. and the house turns to d bait on extending the electronic surveillance law called fisa for two years. last votes this afternoon at 5:00. we will have live house coverage at noon here on c-span. next up we are going to take you to the white house just a short while ago, the president accompanied by secretary of state hillary clinton, came out to make a statement about the death of ambassador chris stevens and foreign service information management shawn smith in benghazi at the consulate there. his comments are about five minutes.
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>> good morning. every day all across the world american diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation. often they are away from their families. sometimes they brave great danger. yesterday four of these extraordinary americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in benghazi. among those killed was our ambassador, chris stevens as well as foreign service officer shawn smith. we are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. and today the american people stand united in holding the families of the four americans in our thoughts and in our prayers. the united states condemns in the strongest terms this
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outrageous and shocking attack. we're working with the government of libya to secure our diplomats. i also directed our administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. and make no mistake, we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. . since our founding the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. none. the world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. already many libyans have joined us in doing so and this attack will not break the bonds between the united states and libya. libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside americans. libyans helped some of our
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diplomats find safety and they carried ambassador steven's body to the hospital where we tragically learned he had died. it's especially tragic that chris stevens died in benghazi because it is a city he helped to save. at the height of the libyan revolution, chris led our diplomatic post in benghazi with characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with libyan revolutionaries and helped them as they planned to build a new libya. when the gaddafi regime came to an end, chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new libya and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy and i think both secretary clinton and i relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there. he was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.
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along with his colleagues, chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the resent experience -- recent experience of war. today the loss of these four americans is fresh but our memories of them linger on. i have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and at the heart of those who loved them back home. of course yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. we mourned with the families who were lost on that day. i visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in iraq and afghanistan at the haloed grounds of arlington -- hallowed grounds of arlington cemetery and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at walter reed. then last night we learned the news of this attack in benghazi. as americans let us never, ever
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forget that our freedom is only sustained because our people are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, in some cases lay down their lives for it. our country's only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military, who represent us around the globe. no acts of terror already ever shake the resolve of this great nation. alter that character, or eclipse the values that we stand for. today we mourn for more americans who represent the very best of the united states of america. we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake, justice will be done. but we also know that the lives of these americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. these four americans stood up for freedom and human dignity.
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they should give every american great pride in the country that they served. and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who alsoern -- also yearn to live in freedom and dignity. we grieve with their families but let us carry on their memory and let us continue their work in seeking a stronger america and a better world for all of our children. thank you. may god bless the memory of those we lost and may god bless the united states of america. >> is is this an act of war? >> president obama from about a half-hour ago. he is headed to the state department since then. at about 10:00 eastern this morning, secretary clinton made her own statement with some more personal comments on the death of ambassador -- libyan ambassador chris smith. >> yesterday our u.s. diplomatic
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post in benghazi, libya, was attacked. heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. american and libyan security personnel battled the attackers together. four americans were killed. they included sean smith, a foreign service information management officer, and our ambassador to libya, chris stevens. we are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals. this is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. we condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we have lost.
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all over the world every day america's diplomats and slefment experts -- development experts risk their lives in the service of our country and our values. because they believe that the united states must be a force for peace and progress in the world. that these aspirations are worth striving and sacrificing for. alongside our men and women in uniform, they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. in the lobby of this building, the state department, the names of those who have fallen in the line of duty are inscribed in marble. our hearts rake over each one and now because of this tragedy we have new heroes to honor and
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more friends to mourn. chris stevens fell in love with the middle east as a young peace corps volunteer teaching english in morocco. he joined the foreign service, learned languages, won friends for america in distant places, and made other people's hopes his own. in the early days of the libyan revolution, i asked chris to be our envoy to the rebel opposition. he arrived on a cargo ship in the port of benghazi and began building our relationship with libya's revolutionaries. he risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better libya. the world needs more chris stevens'.
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i spoke with hiscies is ter, ann, this morning and told her that he will be remembered as a hero by many nations. sean smith was an air force veteran. he spent 10 years as an information management officer in the state department. he was posted at the hague and was in libya on a brief temporary assignment. he was a husband to his wife, heather, with whom i spoke this morning, he was a father to two young children, samantha and nathan. they will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to our country. service that took him from pretoria to baghdad and finally to benghazi. the mission that drew chris and sean and their colleagues to
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libya is both noble and necessary. and we and the people of libya honor their memory by carrying it forward. this is not easy. today many americans are asking, indeed i asked myself, how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? this question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be. but we must be clear eyed even in our grief. this was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of libya.
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everywhere chris and his team went in libya in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners. and when the attack came yesterday, libyans stood and fought to defend our post. some were wounded. libyans carried chris' body to the hospital and they helped rescue and lead other americans to safety. and last night when i spoke with the president of libya, he strongly condemned the violence and pledged every effort to protect our people and pursue those responsible. the friendship between our countries, borne out of shared struggle, will not be another casualty of this attack. a free and stable libya is still
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in america's interest and security. and we will not turn our back on that. nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice. we are working closely with the libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely. we are also working with partners around the world to safeguard other american embassies, consulates, and citizens. there will be more time later to reflect, brutate -- but today we have work to do. there is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve. we are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. some have sought to justify this vicious behavior along with the protest that took place at our
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embassy in cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. america's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of oiler nation -- of our nation, but let me be clear, there is no justification for this. none. violence like this is no way to nor religion or faith. and as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of god, the world will never know a true and lasting peace. it is especially difficult that this happened on september 11. it's a anniversary that means a great deal to all americans. every year on that day we are reminded that our work is not yet finished. that the job of putting an end
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to haven't extremism and building -- violent extremism and building a safe and stable world continues, but september 11 means even more than that. it is a day on which we remember thousands of american heroes. the bonds that connect all americans wherever we are on this earth. and the values that see us through every storm. and now it is a day on which we will remember sean, chris, and their colleagues. may god bless them and may god bless the thousands of americans working in every corner of the world who make this country the greatest force for peace, prosperity, and progress. and a force that has always stood for human dignity, the
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greatest force the world has ever known. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you. >> secretary clinton from about an hour ago or so. she is at the state department now with the president. we are keeping an eye on some of the tweets coming from members of congress. the speaker today ordering flags at the u.s. capitol flown at half-staff in honor of ambassador stevens and the american personnel killed in libya. that was retweeted by peter roskam of illinois. also kevin brady of texas saying the kilingts of four americans, including our ambassador to libya, christopher stevens, is an assault on america. and keith ellison of minnesota saying i'm deeply disturbed on the attacks on our diplomatic missions in libya and egypt. this is a tragic loss. can you follow what the members
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are saying, twitter.com/c-span, look for members of congress under the list there. while republican candidate mitt romney this morning in jacksonville said the white house gave mixed signals, quote mixed signals in its response to the breach of the embassies. the consulate in libya and embassy in equipped. and the questions from reporters is about 10 minutes. >> good morning. americans woke up this morning with tragic news and felt heavy hearts as they considered that individuals who have served in our diplomatic corps were brutally murdered across the world. this attack on american individuals and embassies is outrageous, it's disgusting, it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of freedom and justice
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and honor. we mourn their loss. and join together in prayer that the spirit of the almighty might comfort the families of those who have been so brutally slain. four diplomats lost their life, including the u.s. ambassador, j. christopher stevens, in the attack on our embassy at benghazi, libya. and of course with these words i extend my condolences to the grieving loved ones who have left behind as a result of these who lost their lives in the service of our nation. i know that the people across america are grateful for their service and we mourn their sacrifice. america will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. we'll defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion.
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we have confidence in our cause in america. we respect our constitution. we stand for the principles our constitution protects. we encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world. i also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in equipped instead of condemning their actions. it's never too early for the united states government to condemn attacks on americans and to defend our values. the white house distanced itself last night from the statement saying it wasn't cleared by washington. that reflects the mixed signals they are sending to the world. the attacks in libya and egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that american leadership is still sorely needed.
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in the face of this violence america cannot shrink from the responsibility to lead. american leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don't spin out of control. we cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests. over the last several years we stood witness to an arab spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region, but also poses the potential for peril if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events. we must strive to ensure that the arab spring does not become an arab winter. with that i'm happy to take any questions you may have. >> it was a very toughly worded statement last night. do you regret the tone at all given what we know now? >> the embassy in cairo put out a statement after their grounds had been breached, protesters
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were inside the grounds, they reiterated that statement after the breach. i think it's a terrible course for america to stand in apology for our values. that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached that the first response of the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. and apology for america's values is never the right force. >> do you think coming so soon after an event really has unfolded overnight was appropriate to be weighing in on this as this crisis is unfolding in real time? >> the white house also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflecting of their views. i had the exact same reoaks. these views were inappropriate. they were the wrong course to
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take. when our embassy is -- has been breached by protesters, the first response should not be to say yes we stand by our comments that suggest that there's something wrong with the right of free speech. >> what did the white house do wrong then, governor romney, if they put out a statement saying they disagreed with it? >> their administration spoke. the president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, state department. they clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration. the statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. >> let's talk about mixed signals. isn't it a mixed signal when you criticize the administration at a time americans are being
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killed. shouldn't politics stop for this? >> we have a campaign for presidency of the united states and they are speaking about the different courses we would take with regards to the challenges that the world faces. the president and i for instance have differences of opinion with regards to israel and our policies there. with regards to iran, with regards to afghanistan, with regards to syria. we have many places of distinction and differences. we join together in the condemnation of the attacks on american embassies and the loss of american life and join in the sympathy for these people. but it's also important for me, just as it was for the white house last night, by the way, to say that the statements were inappropriate. and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for american values. >> some said you jumped the gun a little in the statement last night and should have waited until more details were available. do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all the things that were happening? >> i don't think we ever
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hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. we express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of america. simply put, having an embassy which is -- has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the united states, having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech, is not the right course for an administration. >> if had you known last night that the ambassador -- i'm gathering did you not know. >> that came later. >> if you had known that the ambassador had died -- >> i'm not going to take hypotheticals about what would have been known. we responded last night to the events that happened in egypt. >> your economic know-how and experience, now the foreign policy and situation in the middle east is in the presidential campaign, can you talk about why specific isly you are better qualified than
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president obama to handle this issue? >> i think president obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign policy. my foreign policy has three fundamental branches. first, confidence in our cause. a recognition that the principles america was based upon are not something we shrink from or apologize for. we stand for those principles. the second is clarity in our purpose. which is that when we have a foreign policy objective, we describe it honestly and clearly to the american people, to congress and to the people of the world. and number three, is resolve in our might. that in those rare circumstances, those rare circumstances where we decide it's essential for us to apply military might, we do so with overwhelming force. that we do so in the clarity of a mission. understanding the nature of the u.s. interest involved, understanding when the mission would be complete, what would be left when it is -- what will be
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left behind us when that mission has been terminated. these elements i believe are essential to our foreign policy and i haven't seen them from the president. as i have watched over the past 3 1/2 years, the president has had some successes. he's had some failures. it's a hit or miss. but it has not been based upon sound foreign policy. >> how specifically, governor romney, would a president romney handle this situation differently than president obama. you spoke out before midnight, how would you have handled this differently? >> i spoke out when the key fact i referred to as known which was that the embassy of the united states issued what appeared to be an apol guy nor -- an apology for the american principles. that was a mistake. i believe when a mistake is made of that significance you speak out. >> governor romney -- >> u.s. ambassador chris stevens becomes the first u.s.
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ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. also killed foreign service information management officer sean smith and two others. ambassador stevens is a 21-year veteran of the foreign service. secretary clinton this morning said this assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with people of the middle east and north africa which began as a peace corps volunteer in morocco. secretary clinton and the president touring the state department this morning meeting with employees there. meanwhile back on capitol hill today, just a short while ago, the flags on the capitol were lowered to half-staff at the order of smoker of the house john boehner. the house will be gaveling back in at noon eastern today. we expect a moment of silence sometime this afternoon at about -- sometime this afternoon when they do return. on the senate side a number of statements including from john mccain, joseph lieberman, and lindsey graham a. joint statement that read in part we cannot give in to the temptation to believe that our support for the democratic aspirations of
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people in libya, egypt, and elsewhere in the broader middle east is naive or mistaken. we'll have more for you, too, you can follow more twitter.com/c-span and look for the list of members of congress. already on the house floor -- on the floor of the house this morning during morning hour, several comments and speeches on the attacks in benghazi. starting this morning with texas representative ted poe. f terror. but yesterday americans were attacked again. in two attacks, in egypt and in libya. apparentry terrorists attacking us again on 9/11. the embassy in egypt was stormed. the american flag was brought down and a black flag was raised by those who came into the compound.
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in libya, the consulate was attacked, set afire and our ambassador to libya, chris stevens, was murdered. and according to the bbc hi body was brought through the streets in benghazi. the groups are individuals that committed these acts must be found. there's no evidence yet there was any act by either one of these two governments but by individuals or even by groups. in libya, al qaeda cousins, as i call them, claims responsibility for the murder of our u.s. ambassador. it's no coincidence that these two attacks occurred nearly at the same time and they both occurred on the anniversary of 9/11. immediately, the attackers blamed a movie that was produced as the reason, an
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excuse, a justification for murdering. it's never the fault of a movie. it's never the fault of the united states. it's never the fault of western culture that people are murdered in the name of somebody else's religion. it's the responsibility and it's the fault and people to be held accountable are the ones who committed these specific acts of terror against the united states. in the past, the united states has always held and went after those responsible for this time of conduct. in 1998 when the kenyan embassy was attacked and americans were killed, we responded. of course we responded in 9/11. we responded after the first world trade center bombing. in 1996 when 19 american soldiers were murdered in saudi arabia we responded. in fact, president bill clinton said this -- the cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished. we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage to pursue them and to punish them.
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and after 9/11, president bush made this comment -- the search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. i've directed the full resources of our intelligent law enforcement agencies to find those responsible and bring them to justice. madam speaker, the united states must always respond to terrorists, and we must let them be reminded again and again we will respond in appropriate manner as we did in 9/11. we must respond today and we must respond tomorrow. i'm encouraged that the president will soon address the nation on what our response will be. we must hold those personally accountable because we must let people understand that they need to leave us alone. that is what that message needs to be. we must have justice in this terrorist attack by these individuals against america because, madam speaker, justice is what we do have been kled since 1780.
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madam speaker, i have to say that the news that we have of the tragic death of ambassador chris stevens in bengzi, the u.s. consulate in libya, is very sad news for all of us. now the upheaval in the arab world has brought about many great things for the first time in millennia, there have been individuals who have been able to participate in elections. and make decisions. but then we get the sad and tragic news that ambassador stevens and, according to the earlyeports, two marines, maybe another foreign officer was killed in this tragic attack and i'd like to say that we have spent time there. we were just in libya, mr. price and i, before ambassador stevens arrived and libya has held out great promise. i'm determined, as i know mr.
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price is, to ensure that the promise we saw several weeks ago in libya will not be shaurd by the tragic -- shattered by the tragic death of ambassador stevens. madam speaker, i'm pleased to be joined by my dear friend and colleague, mr. price, and i'd like to yield to h at this point. mr. price: i thank my colleague foryielding. mr. dreier and i have partnered for many years and the work of the house democracy partnership which we and many others in this body believe in very deeply, that we need to be good colleagues, not just nationally but internationally and we need to reach out in ways that can strengthen democracy, strengthen institutions i countries that are friends of our country and we can help bring those parliaments along. that's exactly why we visited libya back in the spring. delegation led by mr. dreier. we were there a few weeks before ambassador stevens arrived and i think it's fair
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to say that we were struck by the promise of libya. of course they've had 42 years of dictatorial rule. the country has been liberated. there's still major challenges. obviously security challenges as we are learning in a tragic way today, but the country is gradually being secured. elections have been held and parliamentary elections are on the way. so we have great hope for libya and we will be a friend to libya. we have been and we will be a friend to libya and bringing forward the promise of the arab spring. but our purpose here today so to mark this tragic loss. the sixth i believe, ambassador in u.s. history to be killed in the line of duty. our personnel is the best that the u.s. can offer.
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the work that they're doing is work that's in the national interest and work that is very, very valuable to libya and to us and this horrible tragedy is onthat we want to mark in this house here today. mr. dreier: madam speaker, if i may simply extend condolences to the loved ones of ambassador stevens and to say that we need to ensure that those responsible for this tragic death are brought to justice and we need to do everything we can to continue to encourage of the development of the rule of law, self-determination, political pluralism ands mr. price has said, the development of democratic institutions around the world. it's a universal right and the united states of america is the single best model for that. so our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of ambassador stevens and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the geleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, for five minutes.
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mr. hoyer: thank you, madam speaker. first i want to of course associate myself in the remarks of mr. price and mr. dreier who have done such terrific work in the spread of democracy but to lament the tragic loss of life and the courage displayed by our men and women in our foreign service and who are deployed abroad to >> some response from u.s. senators on the killing yesterday in benghazi of the u.s. ambassador and three others. scott brown of massachusetts tweeting, there is no justification for the cowardly acts of violence that took the lives of four americans in libya. senator menendez from new jersey, my deepest condolences to the families of the american personnel who gave their lives
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in service to our country. and senator dan coates of indiana, these senseless murders are a stark reminder that our war against radical islamic terrorists is ongoing. killed yesterday in benghazi, u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens, foreign service information management officer sean smith, and two others in the attacks on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. several libyan security officers were killed in that attack, according to the associated press this morning. they also say that u.s. officials say some 50 marines are being sent to libya to reinforce security at u.s. diplomatic if a summits there. president obama a short while ago came out and spoke about the killings yesterday, vowing to work with libya's government to bring to justice the killers in libya. his statement's about five minutes. >> good morning. every day all across the world
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american diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interest and values of our nation. often they are away from their families. sometimes they brave great danger. yesterday four of these extraordinary americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in benghazi. among those killed was our ambassador, chris stevens, as well as foreign service officer sean smith. we are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. and today the american people stand united in holding the families of the four americans in our thoughts and in our prayers. the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. we are working with the government of libya to secure our diplomats. i have also directed my administration to increase our
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security at diplomatic posts around the world. make no mistake. we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. since our founding, the united states has been a nation that respects all faiths. we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. none. the world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. already many libyans have joined us in doing so. and this attack will not break the bonds between the united states and libya. libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside americans. libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety and they carried ambassador stevens' body to the hospital where we tragically learned that he had died. it's especially tragic that chris stevens died in benghazi
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because it is a city that he helped to save. at the height of the libyan revolution, chris led our diplomatic post in benghazi with characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with libyan revolutionaries and helped them as they planned to build a new libya. when the can gaffey regime came to an end, chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new libya and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy and i think both secretary clinton and i have relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there. he was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps. along with his colleagues, chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. today the loss of these four
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americans is fresh but our memories of them linger on. i have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home. of course yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. we mourned with the families who were lost on that day. i visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in iraq and afghanistan at the haloed -- hallowed grounds of arlington cemetery and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at walter reed. then last night we learned the news of this attack in benghazi. as americans let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it. to stand up for it. and in some cases lay down their lives for it.
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our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those, both civilian and military, who represent us around the globe. no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation. alter that character, or eclips the light of the values that we stand for. today we mourn for more americans who represent the very best of the united states of america. we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake, justice will be done. but we also know that the lives of these -- these americans led stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. these four americans stood up for freedom and human dignity. they should give every american great pride in the country that they served. and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in
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freedom and with dignity. we grieve with their families, but let us carry on their memory and let us continue their work seeking a stronger america and a better world for all of our children. thank you. may god bless the memory of those we lost and may god bless the united states of america. >> is this an act of war? >> since the president's statement, foreign policy's reporting u.s. is deploying elite marine counterterrorism teams in libya in response to the attack on the u.s. consulate there. also a tweet this morning from kim who reports for politico saying that senator rand paul wants any foreign aid to libya to be contingent on libya officials handing over suspects behind the attack to the u.s. the statement from the president happened about an hour ago. the morning started however at the state department with secretary of state hillary clinton and a more personal and
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insightful statement on the 21-year service of ambassador chris smith to libya and elsewhere. >> yesterday our u.s. diplomatic post in benghazi, libya, was attacked. heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. american and libyan security personnel battled the attackers together. four americans were killed. they included sean smith, a foreign service information management officer, and our ambassador to libya, chris stevens. we are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals. this is an attack that should shock the conscience of people
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of all faiths around the world. we condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we have lost. all over the world every day america's diplomats and development experts risk their lives in the service of our country and our values. because they believe that the united states must be a force for peace and progress in the world. that these aspirations are worth striving and sacrificing for. alongside our men and women in uniform, they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. in the lobby of this building, the state department, the names of those who have fallen in the
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line of duty are inscribed in marble. our hearts rake over each one and now because of this tragedy we have new heroes to honor, and more friends to mourn. chris stevens fell in love with the middle east as a young peace corps volunteer teaching english in morocco. he joined the foreign service, learned languages, won friends for america in distant places, and made other people's hopes his own. in the early days of the libyan revolution, i asked chris to be our envoy to the rebel opposition. he arrived on a cargo ship in the port of benghazi and began building our relationship with
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libya's revolutionaries. he risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better libya. the world needs more chris stevenses. i spoke with his sister, a, this morning and -- ann, this morning, and told her he will be remembered as a hero by many nations. sean smith was an air force veteran, he spent 10 years as an information management officer in the state department, he was posted at the hague and was in libya on a brief temporary assignment. he was a husband to his wife, heather, with whom i spoke this morning, he was a father to two young children, samantha and nathan. they will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to
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our country. service that took him from pretoria to baghdad and finally to benghazi. the mission that drew chris and sean and their colleagues to libya is both noble and necessary. and we and the people of libya honor their memory by carrying it forward. this is not easy. today many americans are asking, indeed i asked myself, how could this happen? how could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? this question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be.
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but we must be clear-eyed even in our grief. this was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of libya. everywhere chris and his team went in libya in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners. and when the attack came yesterday, libyans stood and fought to defend our post. some were wounded. libyans carried chris' body to the hospital. and they helped rescue and lead other americans to safety. and last night when i spoke with the president of libya, he strongly condemned the violence and pledged every effort to protect our people and pursue
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those responsible. the friendship between our countries, borne out of shared struggle, will not be another casualty of this attack. a free and stable libya is still in america's interest and security. and we will not turn our back on that. nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice. we are working closely with the libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely. we are also working with partners around the world to safeguard other american embassies, consulates, and citizens. there will be more time later to reflect, but today we have work to do. there is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve.
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we are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. some have sought to justify this vicious behavior along with the protests that took place at our embassy in cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. america's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation, but let me be clear, there is no justification for this. none. violence like this is no way to honor religion or falte -- faith. and as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of god, the world will never know a true and lasting peace. it is especially difficult that
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this happened on september 11. it's a anniversary that means a great deal to all americans. every year on that day we are reminded that our work is not yet finished. that the job of putting an end to violent extremism and building a safe and stable world continues. but september 11 means even more than that. it is a day on which we remember thousands of american heroes. the bonds that connect all americans wherever we are on this earth. and the values that see us through every storm. and now it is a day on which we will remember sean, chris, and their colleagues. may god bless them and may god bless the thousands of americans working in every corner of the
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world who make this country the greatest force for peace, prosperity, and progress. and a force that has always stood for human dignity, the greatest force the world has ever known. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you. >> mitt romney this morning condemned the attacks and criticized the administration for sending, quote, mixed signals in its response. this is about 10 minutes. >> good morning. americans woke up this morning with tragic news and felt heavy hearts as they considered that individuals who have served in our diplomatic corps were brutally murdered across the
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world. this attack on american individuals and embassies is outrageous, it's disgusting. it breaks the hearts of all of us who think of these people who have served during their lives the cause of freedom and justice and honor. we mourn their loss. and join together in prayer that the spirit of the almighty might comfort the families of those who have been so brutally slain. four diplomats lost their life, including the u.s. ambassador, jay christopher stevens, in the attack on our embassy at benghazi libya. and of course with these words i extend my condolences to the greefing loved ones who -- grieving loved wins who have been left behind as a result of these who lost their lives in the service of our nation. i know that the people across america are grateful for their
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service and we mourn their sacrifice. america will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. we'll defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. we have confidence in our cause in america. we resmect our constitution -- respect our constitution. we stand for the principles our constitution protects. we encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our constitution. because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world. i also believe the administration was wrong to stand by its statement sympathizing with those who breached our embassy in egypt instead of condemning their actions. it's never too early for the united states government to condemn attacks on americans and to defend our values.
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the white house distanced it self last night from the statement saying it wasn't cleared by washington. that reflects the mixed signals they are sending to the world. the attacks in libya and egypt underscore that the world remains a dangerous place and that american leadership is still sorely needed. in the face of this violence america cannot shrink from the responsibility to lead. american leadership is necessary to ensure that events in the region don't spin out of control. we cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests. over the last several years we stood witness to an arab spring that presents an opportunity for a more peaceful and prosperous region. but it also poses the potential for peril if the forces of extremism and violence are allowed to control the course of events. we must strive to ensure that the arab spring does not become an arab winter.
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with that i'm happy to take any questions you may have. >> it was a toughly worded statement last night, do you regret the tone at all given what we know now? >> the embassy in cairo mutt out a statement after their grounds had been breached, protesters were inside the grounds, they reiterated that statement after the breach, i think it's a terrible course to -- for america to stand in apol guy gi for our values -- apol guy for our values. instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached that the first response of the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. and apology for america's val use is -- values is never the right course. >> do you think coming so soon after the events really has unfolded overnight was
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appropriate? to be weighing on this as this crisis is unfolding in real time? >> the white house also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and saying they are not reflecting of their views. i had the exact same reaction. these views were inappropriate. they were the wrong course to take. when our embassy is -- has been breached by protesters. the first response should not be to say yes, we stand by our comments that suggest that there's something wrong with the right of free speech. >> what did the white house do wrong, governor romney, if they put out a statement -- >> their administration spoke. the president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also from the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from the state department. they clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration. the statement that came from the
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administration was a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. >> talk about mixed signals, didn't this a mixed signal when you criticize the situation when americans are being killed? a we have a campaign for presidency of the united states speaking about the different courses we would each take with regards to the challenges the world faces. the president and i for instance have differences of opinion with regards to israel and our policies there. with regards to iran w. regards to afghanistan, with regards to syria. we have many places of distinction and differences. we join together in the condemnation of the attacks on american embassies and the loss of american life. and join in the sympathy for these people. it's also posh for me -- important for mee, just as it was for the white house last night, to say that the statements were inappropriate. and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our
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administration to apologize for american values. >> some say you jumped the gun a little in putting the statement out last night and you should have waited. do you regret having that statement come out so literal? >> i don't think we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. we express immediately when we feel that the president and his administration have done something which is inconsistent with the principles of america. simply put having an embassy which has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having violated the sovereignty of the united states, having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech, is not the right course for an administration. >> if had you known last night that the ambassador -- i'm gathering did you not know. >> that came later. >> if you had known that the ambassador had died -- >> i'm not going to take hypotheticals about what would have been known.
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so forth. we responded last night to the events that happened in egypt. >> your economic know-how and now foreign policy anti-situation in middle east has been brought into the presidential campaign, can you talk about why specifically you are better qualified than president obama to handle these issues? >> i think president obama has demonstrated a lack of clarity as to a foreign polcy. my foreign policy has three fundamental branches. first, confidence in our cause. recognition that the principles america was based upon are not something we shrink from or apologize for. we stand for those principles. second is clarity in our purpose. we have describe it honestly and clearly to the american people, to congress, and the people of the world. number three is resolve in our might. that in those rare circumstances , those rare circumstances where
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we decide it's essential for us to apply military might, we do so with overwhelming force, that we do so in the clarity of a mission, understanding the nature of the u.s. interest involved, understanding when the mission would be complete, what would be left when it is -- what would be left behind us when that mission has been terminated. these elements i believe are essential to our foreign policy and i haven't seen them from the president. as i have watched -- fun fun -- >> mitt romney from jacksonville. just to let you know all the statements from this morning. mitt romney, secretary clinton, and president obama available now in our video library at c-span.org. live at the capitol the flags have been flowered to half-staff. speaker boehner ordering that mid morning today after the killings of the four state department personnel at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. the house will be coming in momentarily. gaveling in for a number legislative items and also this afternoon a moment of silence
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for those killed in libya. live now to the house floor here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, the reverend matthew mellow from the church of the resurrection, lakeland, florida. the chaplain: dear god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. we ask your blessing to this legislative body as they govern the welfare of all the people of this great nation. endow them with wisdom, discernment and currently. and conviction to engage the issues of our day and for the generations to come. to be better off as a result of all their decisions made within this assembly hall. bind them together in a shared commitment to you, a passionate patriotism and a deep dedication to find creative solutions in the concerns that confront us
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and abide us in these times. we remember our ambassador, kris cyst officer stevens, and his careers -- colleagues. we ask giving honor and glory to you, our god, and we pray your blessings be upon us always, in your name we pray, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house riss approval thereof. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. mr. ellison: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from florida, mr. ross, is recognized for one minute. mr. ross: thank you, mr. speaker. i wanted to take a brief moment to thank -- say thank you to
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today's chaplain. i would also like to thank the speaker for making this possible. the indcation today was given by reverend matthew mellow from my hometown of lakeland, florida. in 1963 my mother and father helped found the church father mellow calls home and like my parents, father mellow is a geographic mutt. born in new jersey, atended grade school in puerto rico, went to high school in florida, attended seminary in indiana and studied theeologist in chicago. we don't know if he's a yankees fan, a cubs fan or a white sox fan. but since 1998 father mellow has been a constant and reassuring presence in the spiritual life of countless residents of my hometown and my family. his presence on my dad's final year of life was a comfort to him as well as to my family. father mellow personifies christ's instruction to us to be the servant of all. i firmly believe that the bible also says that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avail at much. i have no doubt that today's prayer was heard on high. i thank him for his prayer
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today, his lifetime of service and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? without objection. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, a pastor has been released from prison in errani. after three years of suffering in prison within the death penalty hanging over his head on false charges, pastor youcef is now home with his family. this weekend he was suddenly brought before a court, convicted a on a more minor sentence and granted time served. while we applaud his release, we cannot forget how pastor youcef was abused and falsely accused over the past three years. he was subject to intense interrogation. his wife was arrested, taken away from their two young sons. his lawyer was arrested. earlier this year the house drew attention to this persecution when it overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of pastor youcef. we made it clear that the world
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was watching and would not tolerate the execution of an innocent man. the government of iran continues to abuse religious minorities within its borders. jews, sunni muslims, bahais a as well as christians. pastor youcef's release is a victory for human rights but we cannot forget about the other victims of this corrupt regime. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? without objection. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. wind power is an american success story. it is one of our fastest growing manufacturing sectors with over 500 american-based facilities. it provides us with clean, reknuble energy that both consumers and the environment demand. but unfortunately it is threatened with the production tax credit due tokes pire at the end of the year. i'm pleist pleased to join with my fellow ways and means committee member from the northwest as co-sponsor of h.r.
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3307, to extend the tax credit. so that we don't lose as many as 30 -- 37,000 jobs to the uncertainty. congress shouldn't wait until the end of the year because people need to make investment decisions now. until we enact a comprehensive energy plan for this century, the production tax credit is key to our energy future, clean, dependable, very low operating costs, wind energy. please join us as we work to guarantee this production tax credit for our economy and our energy security. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, in egypt our embassy walls were scaled and the american flag ripped apart. in libya americans -- american ambassadors and three other
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americans were brutally murdered. ironically our own embassy in egypt apologized by condemning americans who exercise their religious and free speech rights as, quote, misguided individuals who hurt the religious feelings of muslims, end quote. the whuse -- white house distanced itself from its own state department apology. let's be clear. in libya this white house spent american treasury and risked american lives to topple muammar gaddafi, thus empowering those who killed our ambassador -- ambassador. not one to learn from history or its own mistakes, this white house says america will, quote, work to support a searing opposition to hasten the day when assad falls, end quote. mr. speaker, we must stop spending our treasury and risking american lives for those who neither appreciate our sacrifices nor believe in basic liberties like freedom of religion and freedom of speech. mr. speaker, i pray the president is listening. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you. good afternoon, mr. speaker. i too rise to promote the extension of the production tax credit. mr. perlmutter: thousands of jobs in colorado and across the nation are dependent upon this incentive for good, clean energy here in the united states. thousands of manufacturing jobs made right here, wind production right here in america. colorado, we have substantial manufacturing plants with venders who supply these particular manufacturers for this good, clean energy. yet we have the production tax credit that's about to expire. bipartisan support is in colorado where we have virtually every member, democrats and republicans, as well as you heard mr. blumenauer say, he has a republican co-sponsor for this. but the republican leadership
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will not bring it up and it's been removed from the platform of the republican party. these are good jobs in america, it's clean energy for our country, it's good for national security. if we make these things, these big wind mills in america, we will make it in america. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dold: mr. speaker, this is a tragic day for the united states. and for all people across the world who stand for freedom, freedom of speech and religious tolerance. but it is also a day that serves as a powerful reminder of why we hold these core principles. why each generation of americans over the past two centuries has proudly fought to preserve and advance them. and why we must confidently answer the call to do the same today. my thoughts and prayers are with ambassador steven's family and with the families of the three american diplomats murdered in the attack in libya. there is simply no excuser to
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rationale to be found here. there's absolutely no justification for violence and murder against americans. this act of terror stands in direct opposition to the freedom and liberty that we champion throughout the world. this is an extraordinarily volatile time in the middle east. and as americans we should expect, we should demand nothing less than strong leadership from the united states. as is shown by the murder of american officials in libya today, the storming of the u.s. embassy in egypt yesterday and most certainly by iran's march toward nuclear weapons, this is no game. i am sickened and outraged by these recent events. it's time to lead. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, today i rise about the wounded
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warriors. the wounded warriors takes care of our returning shoulders. congress however is not living up to its responsibility to do the same. the unemployment rate for returning veterans under the age of 24 is 29%. congress just approved $53 billion for road and bridge repair next year. a very weak response to a big and important issue. particularly when you consider that we just spent $90 billion rebuild building the roads and bridges of -- rebuilding the roads and bridges of afghanistan. if you really want to say thank you to the veterans on behalf of a thankful nation, let's nation build at home and put our veterans to work rebuilding the america they so honorably defended. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, the brave men and women serving in our armed forces dedicate their lives protecting this great
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nation, both at home and abroad. access to absentee voter registration within our military's ranks has been increasingly difficult due to changing residencies and overseas deployments. in order to make voting for our service members more accessible, congress passed the military and overseas voter empowerment act. unfortunately the administration has failed in its mimple implementation. on thursday -- of its implementation. on thursday there will be a hearing to investigate these issues and effort to determine why the department of defense has failed to properly implement the legislation. as chairman of this subcommittee, i look forward to hearing witnesses explain and ensure that those serving in our armed forces are given the best available access to voter registration. every reasonable effort shb mob -- should be made to enable service members have the ability to vote. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget
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september 11 and the global war on terrorism. our sympathy to the families of ambassador christopher stevens and our foreign service officers in libya and egypt. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? without objection. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i am deeply disturbed by the attacks on our diplomatic missions in libya and ejipt. four americans have been now killed, including u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens. these americans served bravely and with distinction and this is a terrible, terrible tragedy. i have seen this am tourish and stupid video and there's nothing in it, despite the fact that it is deliberately provocative, that could ever justify the murder of these innocent people. the fact is this must be condemned in the strongest terms . these individuals who didn't like this video, and there's much to disease like about it, could have peace -- dislike about it, could have peacefully
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protested corks have registered their disapproval in a number of ways but they resorted to murder and this is morally objectionable and the whole world must condemn it. of course it doesn't help to provoke people even if you have the right to do so. but it is always wrong to respond with violence and mayhem. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, texans have shared with me their stories about the businesses that they have built without the help of the federal government. kelly from crosby, texas, wrote me this, congressman, you are correct that small business owners carry the full load of government taxes. on average our small $3 million a year business pays 35% in federal taxes, pays social security at 7.45%, federal unemployment tax, state franchise tax, school district and real estate property taxes
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and i am taxed on the computer used to send this email to you. and the president says i didn't build it? i beg to differ. during the first three years my workweek was 80 hours a week. if the federal government debt of $16 trillion is not brought under control, it will not matter how hard i work because the dollar's value will be worthless. federal government, fix your spending problem, put your house in order because small business is watching and thinking, if i ran my business like you run yours, the bank would foreclose. mr. speaker, kelly is correct. big government hasn't built america, american small business owners have built it on their own and that's just the way it is. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? without objection. ms. tsongas: i rise today as a member of sustainable energy and environment coalition to talk about a critical issue for
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massachusetts and our nation. the wind production tax credit. providing a modest credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour generated, it has encouraged over $75 billion in private investment over the last five years. now 0% of the average turbine is manufactured here in the united states. these companies hire a diversity of workers and provide good-paying jobs in a rapidly growing sector of our economy. nigel green worked for g.e. wind as a wind parts runner. he says, quote, i can tell you honestly that nothing gave me more pride in my country than seeing a turbine go from in repair status back on on line and producing clean renewable power. it is truly a site to behold. unnote. class year alone clean energy grew 11%. if it is allowed to expire, we will lose an important new
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manufacturing opportunity and too many good-paying american jobs. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition? without objection. >> mr. speaker, during our recess this past month, we held a small business round table in our hudson valley and we sat actually -- everybody was transfixed, all the participants, for an hour and a half talking about what our small businesses need to do and one -- what we need to do to help our small businesses and one of the key considerations was to ease the climate for creating jobs and growing our businesses. i am so proud to have supported the jobs act with our democratic and republican colleagues and with the senate. it was signed into law as we all know by the president in march. ms. hayworth: tomorrow in financial services committee we
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begin to review implementation of the jobs act and i hope we can continue to work together to make true progress in growing our small businesses, in helping them by making sure that the path is clear for them to grow and thrive and prosper. and this is a great example of how both parties can work together to achieve that goal. with that, mr. speaker. i i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition. without objection. miss caps: -- mrs. capps: mr. speaker, last month we reached a mile stope in homegrown energy. we surpassed 50 gigawatts of wind power capacity. this is a major accomplishment for an industry predicted to deliver only a quarter of that amount a decade ago. we should be celebrating the success brought about by innovation, hard work, and smart policies, but sadly the
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celebration may be a short one if congress doesn't act swiftly to continue the bipartisan production tax credit which is a key factor in wind power's expansion. my constituents who work at companies like clipper wind and infinity wind power have told me that letting the p.t.c. lapse would devastate their industry and eliminate thousands of jobs. it's time to give these companies certainty by taking up a multiyear extension of the p.t.c. without delay. our country cannot afford to pull the plug -- rug out from under a true america success story. the let's review the tax credit now and maintain our leadership in transitioning to cleaner, safer sources of energy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, just one day after the 11th anniversary of the september 11 priss attacks on the united states of america,
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sadly the american flag flies at half-staff today at the u.s. capitol once again. mr. yoder: falling the senseless and tragic attack against our u.s. consulate in libya which left four patriotic embassy workers laying dead. among those murdered include american ambassador christopher stevens, marking one of the rare moments in u.s. history where a u.s. ambassador is killed representing our nation abroad. this type of cowardly and brutal attack is an outrage and those responsible should be swiftly brought to justice. the service of ambassador stevens and three our embassy staff there not be forgotten as their service represents everything that our country stands in promoting peace and democracy and liberty for all people across the globe. mr. speaker, god bless the brave men and women who serve our country everywhere and god bless the united states of america. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from delaware seek recognition? without objection.
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mr. carney: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize delaware speaker of the house, bob gilligan. in november speaker gilligan will conclude a 40-year career as a member of delaware's house of representatives. making him the longest serving member in state history. throughout his career, speaker gilligan has been one of the most effective leaders in delaware state government. speaker gilligan has been a trusted and compassionate leader during times when delaware needed him most. he helped lead the state through some of its most difficult fiscal challenges. he championed open government legislation that gave delawarians unprecedented access to their representatives. and oversaw the passage of landmark civil rights reforms. and he did this while maintaining a friendship and respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. on a personal level, i will always appreciate speaker gilligan's friendship and support. he gave me my first job in public service as a legislative
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fellow, an experience that inspired my work in government and politics. it has been a real privilege for me to work over the years with bob and i'd like to congratulate speaker bob gilligan on an outstanding career and wish him well in his retirement. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection. mr. shuster: i rise today to commend and congratulate -- mr. fitzpatrick: i congratulate dr. links on his retirement. as the president for the last 20 years, dr. links has led the community college through some of its most ambitious expansions, including new investments in technology, the addition of distance learning courses, and impressive updates to campus building and infrastructure. it was once said that the mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, the great
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teacher inspires. during his time at the bucks county community college, dr. links has inspired countless students through his leadership and dedication to providing men and women of all ages from bucks county with a quality education. on behalf of the people of pennsylvania's eighth congressional district i thank dr. links for his service to the community and i wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise to reiterate my support for the wind production tax credit and investment tax credit for offshore wind. production tax credit is encouraged nearly $20 billion in nationwide private investment annually over the last five years while the i.t.c. serves as the most fundamental federal tax incentive for offshore wind development. mr. keating: as we promote investments that would reduce
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our dependence on foreign oil and serve as a central part in our fight against climate change, it's essential to remember the spillover of job creation and specialized expr tees. in massachusetts we witnessed firsthand the critical comming development opportunities of renewable energy projects provided to our states. our region has undergone an economic regeneration with the development of cape wind, the first offshore wind farm, from new bedford which will serve as staminging area, to the ferry captain who provides tours of turbines. massachusetts is already recognized as one of the top three states for clean energy. we are home to nearly 5,000 individual clean energy companies and nearly 2% of all massachusetts jobs are now in this field. it's important as we go forward that we not let this void appear
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and fill it with jobs made in america. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: i rise today as a member of the house sustainable energy and environmental coalition to call op congress to renew the wind production tax credit. the wind production tax credit provides a small tax credit to produce clean domestic energy. it promotes investment, creates jobs, and encourages employment of wind energy. at the end of this year the wind production tax credit expires unless congress acts. this tax credit is essential to level the playing field for wind energy. for instance, the oil and gas industry gets around $40 billion in subsidies over 10 years. if we can eliminate oil and gas subsidies, let's do it. if not we need to renew the wind production tax credit. it supports 5,000 jobs in colorado and 75,000 jobs nationally. we cannot afford to lose these jobs. both democrats and republicans, senators and house members agree we need to extend this commonsense tax credit.
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i urge my colleagues to work together to extend the wind production tax credit to protect and grow america's thriving wind industry. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa seek recognition? without objection. >> mr. speaker, join my colleagues in the senate to highlight and important issue to iowa, wipped production tax credit. it expires this year as has been mentioned, and must be extended immediately. inaction has already led to job losses in iowa. mr. loebsack: and threatens thousands more jobs in our state. the btc has its roots in iowa and bipartisanship. senator grassley worked for its creation and it has long had bipartisan support. last month the senate passed the bipartisan package that included the wind credit. it's past time for the house to act. iowa is the second largest producer ever wind energy and turbine manufacturing involves about 200 companies and 6,000
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good-paying jobs for iowans. as we struggle to recover frye -- recover from the worst recession since the great fregs, congress cannot play games with people's jobs and pull the rug out from an industry employing thousands. congress must extend the wind credit now before more jobs are lost. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection. >> today is the day of refeck shun and sadness. the tragic killing of our ambassador in libya and his staff reminds us of the dangers that exist around the world so we offer our prayers to the families and survivors. mr. garamendi: we also need to think about the fuhr in america and the necessity for developing alternative energy systems. the production tax credit for wind is absolutely essential. i represent two major wind farms, thousands of jobs across
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in nation will be lost unless we extend the wind tax credit. keep in mind that for a century we have subsidized the oil and gas industry. it's time for us to provide the support necessary to create this industry. we also ought to be making it in america. one of my bills, h.r. 6217, would require that 85% of the content of this-tsh these turbines and solar systems be made in america. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? without objection. >> mr. speaker, we had an attack in cairo on our embassy yesterday. and we had an attack in benghazi and we lost the ambassador there. he was killed along with three other people. mr. burton: i have been on the foreign affairs committee now for about 30 years and i have
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never seen anything like what we have seen over the northern tier of africa. all the way across the northern tier we have seen the spring that they are talking about and how things are changing and how democracy is coming. the fact of the matter is iran is taking advantage of what's going on over there by sending interimmediatearies in all those countries that undermine them. i was in the persian gulf recently and there is absolutely no question that iran is doing everything they can to undermine all those governments over there. and when you look at what happened in egypt, with the muslim brotherhood taking over, we in this country ought to be very much aware that this is not the end of it. it's not going to go away. so the administration or the new president, whoever it is, takes office in january, they are going to have to have a very strong foreign policy because we still get about 35% of our energy from that region. this is not going to end right now. it's going to go on. and we have to be prepared. i yield back the balance of my
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time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. mr. hastings: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 5544. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 773 and rule 18, the chair di declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5544. the chair appoints the gentleman from idaho, mr. simpson, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5544 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to authorize an expedite a land exchange involving national forest system land in the district of the superior national forest and certain other national forest
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system land in the state of minnesota that has limited recreational and conservation resources and lands owned by the state of minnesota in trust for the public school system that are largely scattered in checkerboard fashion within the boundary waters canoe area wilderness and have important recreational, scenic and conservation resources and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read for the first time. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i support h.r. 5544, the minnesota education investment and employment act. this bill will rectify a decades-old injustice that was impose by congress during the carter administration to ensure that funding for schools and education in minnesota is carried on. when minnesota became a state, it received certain parcels of lands from the federal
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government set aside to help fund education. these lands known as school trust lands were specifically established to provide funding for minnesota public schools. responsible timber management, mineral development and other economic uses of these lands would generate the revenue that would benefit every child in the state. however, in 1978, congress designated the boundary waters canoe area wilderness in a portion of these trust lands -- and a portion of these lands became trapped inside the wilderness area and inaccessible therefore for economic development. this caused a decline in funding then for local schools. h.r. 5544 would implement a bipartisan plan that was passed by the minnesota state legislature and signed by the democrat govern dayton to authorize a no-cost land, change. it would allow minnesota school trust lands locked away within the federal wilderness area to
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be exchanged for federal land from the multiple use superior national forest. state forest lands would be fairly exchanged for federal forest lands. but typical of the attitude held by many democrats that spending more of taxpayers' money will solve the problem, the critics of this bill have suggested that the federal government should simply buy these inaccessible trust lands at a potential cost of tens of millions of dollars. now, this is at the same time when the federal government has had more than trillion-dollar budgets for the last four years under this president. however, the much-needed solution in this bill would consolidate state-held lands within the wilderness area and allow the state of minnesota to access and develop new trust lands from the superior national forest. this will benefit state schools at no cost to the federal taxpayers, with the additional benefit of job creation and
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economic development. and let me elaborate on that, mr. chairman. it has been shown time and again that states are far more effective at managing lands for sustainable use and revenue generation than the federal government. for example, in my home state of washington they have been able to produce more than 1,000 times the revenue for education on 2.2 million acres of state trust land as opposed to the u.s. forest land is able to generate on four times that amount, nine million acres. in other words, we generate 1,000 more -- 1,000% revenue on 1/4 of the land because it's administered by the state. i think the same principle can apply to minnesota. putting these state lands back to productive use for education will increase funding for schools across the state while at the same time creating new opportunities for job creation
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and economic growth. so this bill is more than a land exchange. it's about keeping a promise when minnesota became a state. it's about correcting the consequences of that restricted access to this vital acs a -- asset. and it's about ensuring that children in schools will get the funding they deserve and were promised. i urge support of this bill and with that i'll reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arde arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. and i give myself as much time as i might consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. federal land grants to state for education have resulted in the transfer of more than 77 million acres of land to over 30 stateless. these well-meaning acts taken over 200 years ago have left communities across the country with a fragmented pattern of landownership. through the northwest ordinance
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enacted, minnesota was granted 8.3 million acres of school trust lands. today the state has only 2.5 million acres left with 93,000 located in the boundary waters canoe area wilderness. proponents of this legislation claim this bill will right inequities caused by the designation of the boundary waters wilderness area. for most of us, it would seem like common sense to do a land trade. but i think most of us would also want a land trade that is fair to both sides. the state of minnesota recently enacted state legislation that would allow an exchange of state and federal lands. while controversial and garned i bipartisan support and didn't include language suggesting that we need to waive federal laws. as my colleague, congresswoman mccollum, will tell us, the state did their job. it is now time for congress to do our job. our job is to protect taxpayer assets and the democratic process.
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congressman cravaack's bill fails on both of these accounts. we just need to look at the facts. by failing to require the standard public process that allows all americans the ability to participate and comment on the exchange of assets, h.r. 5544 robs the citizens of this nation of their right to participate in the democratic process. unlike every other land trade bill brought before this congress, we have no map showing what federal lands will go to -- into state ownership for development. neither the people of minnesota nor the people of the united states have any idea if we will lose lands critical to protecting drinking water or vital to hunting or motorized recreation. there is no map. the federal lands to be traded are not identified. three native american tribes have tribal treaties guaranteeing tribal members the right to hunt, fish and gather in the superior national forest. this bill potentially deprives
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these tribes of their access rights. second, by failing to ensure that our assets are appropriately valued as part of the exchange, congressman cravaack's bill shortchanges the american taxpayer. h.r. 5544 defers to the state of minnesota to decide the value of federal lands. when congress authorized the sale or exchange of federal assets, it is our job to make sure the federal government can is getting a good deal. again, for every land exchange this congress has considered, we have relied on standard appraisal processes that are well understood by real estate professionals and land managers. overriding this practice is like buying a house based on an appraisal provided by the owner with the owner admitting they don't have enough data assessment. such a scheme fails to protect the interest of the american taxpayer who owns this land. we are not talking about a couple million dollars of taxpayer assets here.
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estimates nearly a decade old place the value of these lands at nearly $100 million. third, it is not clear this legislation is going to accomplish its stated goal. education investment. during committee consideration of this legislation minnesota school officials testified that of the 9,000 per year spent on an average minnesota student, $26, less than 1%, comes from school trust land receipts. this entire bill is geared to making up to $650,000 the state believes it has lost. a mere drop in the bucket to the overall necessary education investment. an amendment offered by congressman hastings that is self-executed in the rule shortchanges three counties in minnesota. since 1948 congress has and continues to provide st. louis,
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cook and lake counties mandatory annual payments to compensate them for loss revenues related to the designation of the boundary waters wilderness area. since the passage of the boundary waters wilderness area act, these counties have received nearly $60 million in compensation from -- on payments alone. last year these payments amounted to $6 million. chairman hastings' amendment stops increases in these payments which c.b.o. estimates would be approximately $1 million. this is ironic considering the entire bill is justified on the state estimated exchange will increase their school trust revenues by $650,000 a year. wouldn't it make more sense to go back and see if we can make better use of existing money going to the state and to the county? finally, this bill fails to garner broad, bipartisan support. not one democrat from the minnesota delegation has co-sponsored the legislation.
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nearly 25 organizations in the state have written congress in opposition to the legislation. minnesota back country hunters and anglers representing over two million hunters and anglers oppose the bill. the star tribune's editorial board says the bill fails the credibility test and is about converting forest land to mining. many of us, including myself, have had bills to accelerate the land exchange process. however those bills have safeguards like ensuring that the public can participate in the process, safeguards like ensuring uncle sam won't become uncle sucker, leaving taxpayers with a raw deal. safeguards like ensuring treaties and guaranteeing access to tribes that are not impacted. this bill has none of those safeguards. there are ways to do land exchanges that earn public support, garner bipartisan endorsements and protect taxpayers. this bill fails on all account counts and shun -- on all counts and should be rejected.
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mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i'm very pleased to yield eight minutes to the sponsor of this legislation, as somebody who has worked extremely hard on behalf of his constituents to correct the justice that was imposed in 1978. eight minutes to the gentleman from minnesota. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for eight minutes. mr. cravaack: i thank the chairman for yielding. i rise today in support of h.r. 5544, the minnesota education, investment and employment act. this bill supports all schools in the state of minnesota, creates good-paying jobs in northern minnesota and makes the boundary waters canoe area wilderness for the first time whole. first, a little bit of history. when minnesota became a state in 1858, sections 16 and 36 of
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every township were set aside in trust for the benefit of schools. the state could use, lease or sell the land to raise money for education. in the beginning the state leaders decided to sell so much of the -- some of the more valuable parcels of school trust lands but around the turn of the century they realized they needed more sustainable plans and began putting a school trust land to productive use. timber and mining in my district. as democrat state representative has so aptly educated me in, these lands are not so much owned by the state as held in trust by the state and owned by the school children of minnesota. it is the responsibility of school trust fund trustees to maximize the return of these lands for the benefit of this funds for our children. this is written in the minnesota constitution. but in the 1970's the federal government created the boundary water canoe areas wilderness. the lands within the boundary
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waters can be logged, leased, sold or mined in order to preserve the unique wilderness character of this pristine land. but as a result of its creation, minnesota and students have been placed with an 86,000-acre problem for over 30 years. 86,000 acres of state-owned school trust lands have been land locked within the borders of the boundary waters and have been able to produce critical funding for minnesota public education. it is imperative that we resolve this longstanding problem. our goal is to preserve and protect the boundary waters and allow state-owned school trust lands to raise revenue for minnesota education. it's a win-win. unfortunately minnesota school kids and their teachers have been cheated out of a public education funding now for over 34 years. finally, after years of inaction, stalling and dilatory tactics by special interest groups, republicans and democrats have come together in minnesota and said, enough is enough.
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on march 22 of this year, an overwhelming majority of democrats and republicans in the state senate filed 1750 by a vote of 53-11, passed the bill. on april 3 the house followed suit, passing their bipartisan bill by 90-41. on april 27 our democrat governor mark dayton signed the bill into law. h.r. 5544 executes the bipartisan state plan. allow me to say that again. the h.r. 5544 executes the bipartisan state plan. . this bill would exchange state-owned school trust lands trapped in the boundary water areas to federal government owned land outside the boundary waters. additionally this bill would include important provisions that would ensure that minnesotans can maintain their hunting and fishing rights within the boundary waters. to be clear this bill does
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exempt only the land exchange portion from nepa. the land exchange itself would have no environmental impact, and any future development would still be subject to strict state and federal regulations. again, a land swap is merely a redrawing of maps and has no environmental impact in and of itself. i want to be very transparent here, though. one of my goals is to have this bill created to make sure that we have jobs in northern minnesota. the lands listed in senate file 1750 are rich in natural resources. many of them lie opinion portions of the superior national forest already being successfully mined for iron ore and harvested for timber. it creates thousands of good paying jobs in the region. northern minnesotans need these opportunities and every american benefits from the steel and lumber that goes into our cars to our homes. i generally support nepa, but
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obstructionist and special interest groups have a track record of abusing the nepa process. the state of minnesota cannot afford to be sued by environmental groups for years into foot ture just for the sake of blocking this land exchange. i will not allow special interest groups acting in bad faith to abuse the nepa process and use frivolous lawsuits to block and derail land exchange at the taxpayers' expense. school kids and teachers in minnesota can't wait years, possibly decades for this funding. in the school district where i live, north branch, minnesota, some classes have 40 kids in them and the school has been reduced to a four-day school week. you call this progress? this legislation will generate a lot of funding for our schools and create good paying jobs. importantly the minnesota education investment employment act would not eliminate a single acre of boundary waters land and cost nothing to the american taxpayer. in fact, it would acreage within the existing wilderness area boundaries while giving
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minnesota school children the land that rightfully belongs to them. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. i thank you for yielding. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to yield to the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. mccollum, as much time as she may consume. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for as much time as she may consume. ms. mccollum: the house should not be spending its limited floor time on this bill. the house should be debating the american jobs act. the president's plan to put nearly two million americans back to work without adding a dime to the deficit. i stead today the republican majority has a land exchange bill on the floor that is completely unnecessary. i want to stress that. it is unnecessary. the state of minnesota, the u.s. forestry service have all the authority they need to finalize
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this land exchange and finalization is what they are working on. there is a stakeholder process under way in minnesota to determine the proposed land sale and exchange and it's under way. and they are going to do it. and they are working on it. with everyone at the table. so why are we debating this bill at all? i was a state representative for many years, and i worked on a lot of land exchanges. and i never worked on a land exchange that has been so unnecessary as what i am being asked to vote on today. this is a reckless bill and it also sets a terrible precedent. this legislation does not specify what lands are for the exchanges. we know about the school trust fund land and that's specified. we know what that is. but we don't know what lands are
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to be exchanged. we don't know what the finished product is. members of congress are being asked to endorse a land exchange without knowing what lands will be exchanged. this legislation does refer to a bill in the minnesota state legislature, and the minnesota legislation does not include a map of the federal lands to be exchanged. it does not include a map. this is the first time in the history of this congress, of congress to bring a bill, a land exchange to the floor, without maps specifying what lands are to be exchanged. the first time in history. every member of this house should be asking themselves one simple question, where are the mants? -- maps? as i said i have done many land
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exchange bills in my service in the minnesota legislature, and the first rule of all those land exchange bills is, don't forget what you are exchanging out. we always had maps. we had the cost. we had the value and the public input. and i believe the minnesota state legislators should be able to finish that process themselves. working with the u.s. forestry, working in a transparent fashion to know exactly what we are voting on. why are maps important? because without a map it's impossible to determine how many minnesotans could possibly see their property rights threatened by this bill. can anyone here today tell me how many minnesota cabin owners could open up their flood doors and find a lack of public access to water that they have used and recreated in for years? there is no map. . no one can answer that question. can anyone tell me how millions of dollars minnesota will lose in property value because of
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issues like this? because of h.r. 5545? no one can answer that question because there are no maps. this bill could earn i believe will greatly reduce public access to hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling in areas where the public currently has access. minnesota backcountry hunters and anglers is a sportsman conservation group. they represent over two million hunters in minnesota and anglers as well. the group sent a letter to the us minimums of the house this month opposing this bill and i'd like to quote from it. quote, it provides no protective measures for how the land may be used, no assurances that existing activities like hunting, fishing, and angling will continue, why? because there is no map. there are also 700 miles of snowmobile trails in superior national forest that could be at risk because of this bill.
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these trails that were public and private lands intermingle and were private and private entities have worked for years raising money and revenues to be able to recreate. but no one can tell me, not mr. cravaack, not mr. hastings, no one here, no one can tell me how many trails, lakes, and hunting areas could be closed by this bill because there is no map. in addition, this bill eliminates the public's ability to paragraph tiss mate in any decisionmaking process because it waives the national environmental policy act process. this is not the way we do things in minnesota. we bring people together at the table. we make sure everyone is at the table. the state, the federal government, the local government, the property owners, hunters, anglers, the tribal nations, the convationists, the taxpayers, and, yes, the job generators. we make sure that decisions are transparent and they -- transparency means you have to include a map.
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we make sure to get fair market value for land that is sold in exchange. so that it's in the best interest of the taxpayers. as a member of congress, representing minnesota, and as a member of the house interior subcommittee, i am committed, i want -- i am committed to supporting land exchange it's a good deal for minnesota, a good deal for the american taxpayers, and i'm committed that the processes in place in minnesota move forward. i serve with those northern legislators. they have fought for years to get something on the table. they deserve to have the process finish and finish correctly. they need good legislation not bad legislation. minnesota will produce good legislation. there is a stakeholder's group in minnesota that is working to determine if the lapped proposal is fair and transparent. they are not at the table, folks. it does not require a congressional action to finalize their proposal. it does not take congressional
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action to move forward the legislation that is passed and then signed into law by the governor. this bill is unnecessary, it's reckless, and it sets a dangerous precedent for this house for the first time ever to vote on a land exchange without a full, complete map. the house should defeat h.r. 5544 and it should allow minnesota to move forward without this interference and this recklessness. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to yield four minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee that dealt with this legislation, the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. the chair: the gentleman from utah is recognized for four minutes. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. chairman. we do processes here in government and hopefully we do them for a reason. when the process we have harms kids we should ask ourselves why
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do we have the slavish devotion to the process. the problem before the state of minnesota today is simply federal action that took place 34 years ago that took land guaranteed and devoted to the kids of minnesota and took them away by federal action. 34 years ago. i live in a state that does have a state trust lands policy, where the use of that school makes a significant contribution to the education of our kids. it wasn't always that way. we took it seriously. the state of minnesota now wants to take this process seriously and develop resources that would be beneficial for their kids. in a significant way. and equalize the process as we do in my home state to benefit all the kids that are in public education. this is one of those situations in which we have had plenty of time to solve this problem but obviously the federal government has not moved forward to give to the state of minnesota what will benefit their kids. in the hearing we had on this
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particular bill, forest service said, yeah, we can do this process. give us about four years to evaluate all these lands. four years to evaluate these lands. our constitution gives us the right to a speedy trial. i wish it gave us a right to speedy decisions by bureaucrats. four years. an entire class of kids can start and finish high school without having any benefit from these lands that were theirs in the first place. i do not know why those who constantly bring the -- breathe the air of the potomac river are the ones wringing their hands. you and i worked in the state legislature. i had 45 days to get something accomplished or you didn't do it. i taught school on try midwesters. i had 90 days to cover the material or i didn't get to do it. can you imagine what would happen if the principal came to me and said we are going to do our final test on tuesday. i said i'm sorry i couldn't possibly cover all that material by tuesday. maybe in four years from tuesday i might be able if you are lucky
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to get through the material and actually be ready for that particular test. one of the issues in this campaign is indeed dealing with permits. what takes my state 45 days on average or less, the permit takes the federal government 307 days on average to do it. that's the process we are talking about here. the state of minnesota has a state process in place. it covers tribal issues. it covers all the issues that are there. and this would take precedent. the state of minnesota is just as smart as the federal forest service in solving these problems except the state of minnesota wants to do it quickly and the federal forest service is not. this will also eliminate potential delaying litigation using federal laws to actually do that. like it is simply time for us to realize that this bill passes it helps the forest service because it takes away inholding problems. it also helps kids of minnesota because it guarantees a funding source for their education in
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the future. we should be doing our job and moving us forward and taking this process away from an agency that moves at glacial speed to help kids. it is time, it's time we do something to help kids instead of harming kids. this bill helps kids and i am proud to vote for it. i yield back whatever time i have. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. part of the argument is that the forest service is draggin its feet and will not allow this process to continue. i would suggest that the minnesota, its legislature, came to the realization that it was something they needed to do and that process was initiated. legislation was passed. and that process continues. the role of the federal government in entering that does not exist. this was a volition and decision that minnesota and its representatives had to